Thanet police officer dismissed for gross misconduct over daily cannabis use

Photo Kent Police

A Thanet Police Officer has been dismissed without notice for gross misconduct after cannabis was found at his home.

PC Justin Carter, who had served with the force since 2003, appeared before Chief Constable Alan Pughsley on September 22 for a misconduct hearing.

The hearing followed an investigation by Kent Professional Standards into the conduct of Police Constable Carter.

It was alleged that on July 21 PC Carter refused without good cause to supply the required samples when subject to a ‘With Cause Substance Abuse Test’.

It was also alleged that later the same day a search was carried out at PC Carter’s home address during which an amount of cannabis was found. When asked about the substance in an interview, the PC admitted it was cannabis and his daily use of it.

The PC accepted a Caution for the possession of Cannabis, a Class B Controlled Drug.

PC Carter was accused of breaching professional standards by grss misconduct.

All misconduct allegations were found proven and PC Carter was dismissed without notice and will be placed on the Police Barred List, preventing him from being employed in law enforcement in the future.

Chief Constable Pughsley said in his findings: “Mr Carter is an experienced police officer who joined the Force in 2003. He is a Licensing Officer. On  July 21, he refused without good cause to supply the required samples for a with cause substance abuse test and stated that he had done nothing wrong. In fact, he well knew that he had been engaging in unlawful activity in possessing and consuming a Class B controlled drug.

“Later on an amount of a substance which Mr Carter subsequently admitted was cannabis was found in the course of a search of his home address. Mr Carter admitted possessing the cannabis and that he was using it on a daily basis. On the July 22, Mr Carter accepted a Caution for the possession of cannabis which involved an admission by him that he had committed a criminal offence.

“I find that Mr Carter has breached all the Standards of Professional Behaviour. Mr Carter did lie to officers when he stated he had done nothing wrong. He has admitted that he was using cannabis on a daily basis and had not declared it. He is clearly guilty of a lack of honesty and integrity. Mr Carter had not until he was caught disclosed his possession and use of cannabis. He acted in breach of his duties and responsibilities as a police officer.

!In July 2020, Mr Carter was on his own admission using cannabis on a daily basis and yet continuing to attend for duty. His use of that substance clearly raised the prospect that his fitness for work was impaired, both in terms of his ability to discharge the duties of a police officer to the appropriate standard and in terms of whether it was safe for him to be driving a vehicle.

“In the light of the findings that I have already made, I have no hesitation in concluding that Mr Carter’s possession and consumption of unlawful drugs in the above circumstances amounted to discreditable conduct.

“Mr Carter’s actions have significantly undermined the confidence which the public places in the police and potentially put the public and his fellow officers at risk. I am clear therefore that he has been guilty of Gross Misconduct.”